Exoplanets and Life in the Universe In Search of Our Origins] Publication date : April 7, 2021
Stéphane Mazevet is a researcher at the Paris Observatory. A specialist in the modeling of planets and exoplanets, since 2015 he has directed the “Origins and conditions for the appearance of life” initiative at the Université Paris Sciences et Lettres.
What if we were close to solving the mystery of the origins of life? This question, for a long time confined to the realm of speculation or to science fiction, is today being studied by scientists, astronomers, biologists, chemists, and historians of science.
In his book, Stéphane Mazevet presents this amazing tale. He tells us the story of the appearance of life as scholars know it today. He brings us on a journey through the great advances achieved during the past sixty years, which have enabled a bit of the veil to be lifted, since the conquest of space up to the discovery of extrasolar planets, revealing what they have taught us about the beginnings of life. While resituating the history of the Earth within that of the solar system, Mazevet makes a detour through research on extraterrestrial life, showing how it informs us in turn about the conditions that led to the appearance of life on Earth.
And so, it is a new history of the Earth that is presented here. We see a terrestrial life, whose origin we have ceased to seek out in the quest for signs of a civilization more sophisticated than our own, around distant stars, henceforth emerge through the presence of liquid water on the surface of a planet around a star other than the Sun.